Was the bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open a success?

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: February 2, 2021 10:41 pm EST

Scott Stewart wins the Winter Open Main Event as live series wraps up in Florida

Live tournament poker in the U.S. still has quite a ways to go to return to where it was at this time last year. The COVID-19 crisis shut down retail casinos for several weeks, and even longer in some states.

While retail casinos have reopened across the country, live poker rooms in many states still haven’t returned from the pandemic shutdowns.

Florida, however, has staged one of the biggest hubs for live tournament poker throughout the last six months. That trend continued this weekend, with the bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open playing out from bestbet poker room in the heart of Jacksonville.

Veteran tournament crusher Scott Stewart took down the centerpiece event of the series, adding yet another accolade to his impressive poker resume. The pro took the win in the Winter Open $2,000 Main Event, winning $177,817 in the process.

The Main Event drew 510 entries, marking another successful live poker tournament emanating from Florida in the COVID-19 era.

Other recent Florida-based tournaments included the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open, which drew the third-largest player pool ever for any WPT Main Tour Main Event. Running at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood Florida, the Lucky Hearts Open Main Event ran Jan. 22-26 and marked the first live Main Tour stop for the WPT in ten months.

The $3,500 buy-in Main Event drew 1,573 entries for the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, pushing the final prize pool to $5,033,600. Tournament champion Ilyas Muradi took down the win, and per the terms of a three-way final table deal, all three top finishers bagged more than $545,000.

Bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open draws solid turnout

Stewart added the bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open win to a resume that now includes more than $2.3 million in live earnings. His other poker accomplishments include five WSOP Circuit rings and a 13th-place finish in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.

That deep run in the WSOP Main Event yielded Stewart’s biggest career payday, as the California-based tournament fixture took home $535,000.

Stewart’s bestbet Jacksonville Winter Open Main Event win marks the third-biggest cash of his career. The player outdueled Matt Mauldin (2nd – $118,422) in the heads-up match for the title.

Betsbet Jacksonville Winter Open final table results

PlacePlayer NamePrize
1Scott Stewart$177,817
2Matt Mauldin$118,422
3Ken Stacy$87,394
4Chris Perry$65,178
5Thad McNulty$49,113
6Luan Nguyen$37,454
7Chuck Tabor$28,917
8Barbara Rogers$22,491

Third big tournament series in the past three months at bestbet Jacksonville

Betsbet Jacksonville brought major tournament poker back to its popular poker venue in October. The Fall Frenzy $1,500 Main Event ran Oct. 24-25, with Brian Cox topping a field of 213 entries for a $69,349 win.

The poker room followed up with the Fall Frenzy II Main Event Nov. 21-22, with Ben Diebold emerging from a field of 182 entries for the win and the $63,182 payout.

The Winter Open topped both of the Fall Frenzy events as far as prize pool and attendance, by a wide margin. Bestbet Jacksonville is certainly doing something right, as its live tournament festivals continue on an upward trajectory.

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